UK blog: Does the decision on nuclear spell the end for district heat networks?

Date: 11/11/2013

“So at last, we have a decision on nuclear. There will be some that think this is excellent and others the contrary. But what does it mean for district heating? Does it confirm the view that as far as DECC is concerned the future for heating remains an all-electric one with a heat pump in every home?

Well, the problem with current forms of low carbon generation is that they are either inflexible or intermittent and the more we have, the greater the need for flexibility. Today flexibility is mostly provided by coal and oil plant but with much of this gone by 2020, it will need to come from elsewhere. We’ll still have our pumped storage and interconnectors and of course there’ll be plenty of CCGTs to prop up the system. Then there is demand side participation which should have a major role to play. However, its commercialisation into a viable and an attractive option that offers value to customers has some way to go. To make matters worse heat demand is very peaky with large variations throughout the year and within day. This is in itself will increase the need for flexibility.”

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Source: CHPA